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A COMPLETE GUIDE FOR AUTOMATED INVOICE MANAGEMENT


Published 21 August 2022


You will frequently need to deal with sending out invoices and promptly returning vendor payments as a business owner.

Bad execution of these procedures may result in difficult business relationships with clients and suppliers, problems with cash flow, and even the possibility of legal action.

Any firm must invest in an efficient invoice management system to automate invoice management and reduce errors.

This article will cover all the essential steps of invoice administration and recommend the top online tool for automating invoice generation.

Invoice Management: What Is It?

As a part of the finance department's accounts payable process, invoice management is a business function that takes place inside. Managing and processing invoices from suppliers and vendors fall under the purview of the fund's payable team.

Recognizing Invoice Management:

Invoice management also referred to as invoice processing, referred to as invoice processing, is the procedure used by businesses to monitor and settle supplier invoices. The simplest version of the process entails receiving a third-party invoice, confirming its legitimacy, paying the supplier, and recording the payment in the business's records.

The two things that savvy businesses want to eliminate are: Manually entering data takes a lot of time and often results in mistakes, communication overload, and double handling. It annoys us more than we know when emails are used to send bills from one location to another. This can be solved using invoice automation. The point-of-contact can enter the data directly into a solution as soon as they receive it, saving time and avoiding the need to circulate a PDF around the firm for validation.

What is the procedure for managing invoices?

Even though invoices were previously only processed on paper, the management of invoices can now be automated. Regardless of the invoice type, the processing will normally involve the following steps:

  • • Receiving a vendor's invoice;
  • • Recording the invoice's information;
  • • Confirming and validating the invoice's data;
  • • Accepting payments

STEP 1. RECEIVING A VENDOR'S INVOICE-

After finishing their job, rendering services, or delivering goods, suppliers issue bills, and the responsible party at the appropriate business department receives invoices.

Invoice paperwork needs to contain:

The date on which the invoice was sent by the supplier; both the supplier's and the buyer's contact information;

Purchase and payment information. Typically, invoices are distributed via email attachments or printed papers.

STEP 2. RECORDING THE INVOICES INFORMATION -

Either manually by a member of AP or electronically using invoice management software, invoice information is verified and submitted into the payment system.

Making a duplicate or digital version of the invoice is as crucial as storing it as a backup.

In case suppliers discover inconsistencies or try to demand more payment, having copies of the invoices on hand will be useful.

STEP3. CONFIRMING AND VALIDATING THE INVOICE'S DATA-

After reviewing and logging the invoice, the AP forwards it before receiving final approval and processing the payment. Two or three executives may be able to authorize bills, depending on the company's size.

To ensure that all documents agree before accepting an invoice for payment, AP automation uses software to compare purchase orders, invoices, and goods receipts.

The supplier invoice will be accepted for payment if every document agrees. Your choice of paying an invoice in full, partly, or not at all is aided by 3-way matching.

STEP 4. ACCEPTING PAYMENTS-

Payment submission completes the invoice process. To ensure payment, it may be necessary to deliver it to the appropriate individual or division. The time it takes to complete payment varies depending on the receiver and may take weeks.

Email confirmations may be misplaced or ignored; therefore, the payment system is crucial in determining how long a payment will be accepted. A direct conversation between the AP and the recipient is, therefore, necessary to ensure that both parties are clear on the terms and timing of the payment. The way invoices are processed can vary depending on the business, which is another crucial point to remember.

Recommended Techniques for the Management of Invoices:

Most firms prioritize accounts receivable above accounts payable and frequently neglect to set aside the resources required to process invoices. Due to the potential for paying fines or fees and supplier resentment, this can be expensive.

These procedures will make monitoring invoices easier for your AP team and guarantee they are paid on schedule.

1. Give Your Bills Priority-

To control cash flow, keeping track of what has to be paid is crucial because late payments might harm connections with suppliers.

When establishing priorities, invoices should be paid based on the due date and terms. You should consider the bill kind and rank your invoices based on timing.

To ensure that you pay the cards with the highest interest rates first and work your way down the list, it would be useful to arrange the credit card bills by date and interest expense. Long-term financial savings are provided by this.

2. Simplify the Workflow-

The likelihood of mistakes or late payments increases with system complexity. Look at the current workflows and pinpoint the areas where the approval process has bottlenecks.

The organization-wide centralization and standardization of processing and reporting are necessary to streamline the invoice approval process. Also, remember that manual procedures and paper invoicing typically cause delays. Automation can speed up the processing of invoices by up to 70%, assuring accuracy and timely payments.

3. Install Trustworthy Fraud Detection-

When working with money, fraud is always a risk. Your employees, suppliers, and cyber criminals all have a chance to commit fraud. And the likelihood of fraud is significantly higher when paper checks are used as a payment method. With a clear audit trail and a more extensive approval tracking system, accounts payable automation aids in the resolution of this issue. You'll have internal controls over the procedure thanks to a real-time display of the progress of each invoice, which will highlight inconsistencies and glaring problems and flag them for additional inquiry.

4. Monitor Conflicts and Resolutions-

Your company will experience cash flow issues if bills are not paid. Keeping track of any differences between the invoices will allow you to: Maintain positive working relationships with your suppliers, keep your cash flow in check, and keep your books organized.

If you approved the check without reading it, you are wasting money away if you were overpaid for something or if the promised reduction wasn't applied. Due to the necessity to monitor your suppliers and ensure that everything was done appropriately, dispute tracking is essential for your company. If it becomes apparent that your vendor is not abiding by the terms of the contract, continuing cooperation needs to be carefully thought through.

5. Reduce costs by using automation-

Whether or not you automate the accounts payable process, you should still adhere to each of the recommendations on this list.

However, managing paper invoices is a hassle. They take time and are prone to misplacement on your end or that of your vendor.

The bottlenecks associated with conventional invoice management processes are significantly reduced by an invoice management system, however: • Boosts staff productivity;
• Enhances connections with suppliers;
• Simplifies the procurement process;
• Saves time and money
Automation transfers your personnel's responsibility for tracking bills to a technology that will carry out all operations automatically.

An automated invoice management system enables you to expand the number of responses if you see seasonal surges in the volume of invoices without adding more staff.

ADVANTAGES OF AUTOMATED INVOICE MANAGEMENT

1. SHORTEN PROCESSING TIME-

Processing invoices manually can take anywhere between 20 and 21 days. Faster processing of bills is guaranteed through automation. Additionally, you'll be able to shorten the average day's labour on invoices for your employees. You can reduce that period to three or four days by using automated software for processing invoices. Automation has a proven ability to save time.

2. Time Savings Lead to Financial Savings-

When you move to automated invoice management, you'll save money in addition to time. Time is money, as the proverb says. Saving time translates into saving money.

Your team's labour costs will decrease due to less time spent on billing. Lastly, you can also reduce the price of printing invoices. Going paperless can be facilitated by switching to automated invoice management.

3. Improve Invoice Processing Accuracy-

Humans, as you are well aware, are prone to error. Manual operations, including data entry services, frequently result in billing processing problems.

This could cause your company a plethora of problems. It can indicate that you made the payment on the incorrect date or at the wrong amount. Errors in billing could result in delayed payments or even missing invoices.

Accuracy can be increased with machine learning services for processing invoices. As a result, you spend less time fixing billing mistakes, and you could even need to issue fewer checks again.

4. Increased productivity of Employees-

You may raise employee productivity by implementing machine learning services for automated invoice management. They will also take less time to complete each invoice as a result. Compared to using only data entry services, your AP team will be able to handle invoices more quickly and precisely. They can go on to the following assignment after finishing the invoicing. Reduced costs and increased revenue are both impacted by better staff productivity. The bottom line benefits from automating the handling of invoices.

5. You May Postpone Hiring-

Machine learning-enhanced automated invoice management can help your personnel accomplish more in less time. It also has another benefit. You can put off adding new team members for a while.

An expensive venture is team expansion. You must first estimate all the expenses associated with hiring new personnel. The next step is to invest time in finding the ideal fit for your business. Software for automated invoice management helps ease the burden of hiring.

Concerning expanding the accounts payable team's workforce as soon as feasible, you don't need to. Your personnel will be far more adept at handling an increase in volume.

6. Increased Transparency and control-

Tracking invoices is a cinch with software for automated invoice management. It allows you to control the billing procedure and enables you to decide whether to send follow-up emails or payment reminder messages. Real-time displays of team productivity can also be made possible via automation.

7. Services for Machine Learning Promote Growth-

By this point, it ought to be obvious that outsourcing machine learning can aid your company in achieving some of its objectives. You may benefit from it as you develop further. It can assist in easing some of the "pains" associated with the growing pains that many enterprises go through.

You can manage an increasing volume of invoices using automation software for automated invoice management. You may not need to increase your workforce size with automation.

Advice for managing Invoices:
    1. To ensure you never forget a payment, automate reminders in your billing software or schedule them on your Google Calendar.
    2. Keep an eye out for vendors who offer discounts early and stock up during seasonal deals.
    3. Always call your clients to confirm receipt of an invoice after delivering it.
    4. Consider charging late fees to clients to motivate them to make timely repayments.
    5. Make an effort to accept various payment options, including checks, cash, credit cards, mobile payments, etc.
    6. Automate the majority of your billing process with accounting software.
Conclusion:Companies track and settle vendor invoices using invoice management. Obtaining an invoice, logging the data, checking and verifying the invoice's data, and paying for the services are all steps in this procedure. Making sure to appropriately prioritize bills based on the due date and the terms of payment are crucial for the success of your organization. Consider the current procedures and pinpoint bottlenecks, then implement reliable fraud detection while consistently monitoring disputes and resolutions. The use of procurement software is recommended to avoid the many problems associated with manual invoice management methods. Now is the time to begin your free trial and experience all the advantages of procurement automation software.

                        

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Editor Aronjit Roy


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